Fight to clear name

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A GRIEVING family are fighting to clear their late daughter’s name in what could become a legal first for the North East.

Melvyn Bell, 72, wants a posthumous employment tribunal to give him the chance to clear his daughter Maureen of allegations she failed to protect vulnerable women.

Maureen, of Springwell, Sunderland, committed suicide last December, three years after failing to get a job because of – her family claim – comments made in a reference by her managers.

The 38-year-old’s family say she had been deeply hurt by what was allegedly said in the reference.

They are attempting to bring a claim against Wearside Women in Need for what her sister described to the hearing as “post-employment victimisation”.

Sister Anne, 40, said the family had no interest in a payout, but simply wanted an apology.